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Creation of the Palestine Mandate. IAFS/JWST 3650. Announcements. “Israeli Soldiers Tell Their Stories”, 6pm, 28 Feb, Eaton Humanities 150 Office hours TODAY 1-3 (no office hours Thu) This week’s Smith reading: 105-126 & 149-152. Outline.

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  • “Israeli Soldiers Tell Their Stories”, 6pm, 28 Feb, Eaton Humanities 150
  • Office hours TODAY 1-3 (no office hours Thu)
  • This week’s Smith reading: 105-126 & 149-152
  • Attempts to reconcile McMahon-Hussein Corr. and Balfour Declaration
  • Collaboration
  • Beginning of the Palestine Mandate
strategic vagueness
Strategic Vagueness
  • McMahon-Hussein correspondence vague as to location
  • Balfour Declaration vague as to nature of Jewish entity in Palestine
  • How are the terms “nation,” “state,” and “national home” different?
  • Why does it matter which exact term British promises used?
nation state national home
Nation, State, National Home
  • State = sovereign political entity
  • Nation = more figurative cultural entity
  • National Home = ?
  • Jan 1918: McMahon promises Hussein, via intermediary, that Balfour Decl will respect “existing population[‘s] . . . economic and political” rights
  • British needed Hussein for Revolt
  • Hussein needed British for legitimacy
  • Collaborators = those who work with the imperial power
  • Sometimes for own benefit (e.g. Sharif Hussein), sometimes because of coercion
  • Spectrum: resistance  collaboration
league of nations mandates
League of Nations Mandates
  • 1922: League granted “Mandates” to
    • France: Lebanon and Syria
    • Britain: Iraq, Transjordan, Palestine
  • Mandatory Powers held territory “in trust” for benefit of local population
  • Clear, defined boundaries as civilized
  • Flexible, overlapping, dynamic boundaries as immature
  • In practice, British tolerated unclear boundaries in West Asia until . . . OIL
suez canal
Suez Canal
  • 1919: unrest in Egypt (and worldwide)
  • 1922: Britain granted qualified independence to Egypt
palestine mandate boundaries
Palestine Mandate Boundaries
  • 1922: Transjordan’s de facto division from Palestine Mandate
palestine region before world war i
Palestine Region Before World War I
  • 80% Muslim
  • 10% Christian
  • 8% Jewish
dealing with conflicting promises
Dealing with Conflicting Promises
  • George Antonius as scholar-advocate
    • Favored pan-Arabism over pan-Islam
    • The Arab Awakening (1938)
  • Arab sense of British duplicity
sources of conflicting promises
Sources of Conflicting Promises
  • Result of imperial structure? (India Office, Colonial Office, Foreign Office, Cabinet, Prime Minister)

            —Antonius (397): “the British right hand was sometimes completely ignorant of what the left hand had done or was about to do.”

faisal weizmann agreement
Faisal-Weizmann Agreement
  • 1919: Faisal (son of Hussein) approved of Zionism . . . subject to creation of Arab state as described in McMahon-Hussein corr.
  • 1919: Syrian memo opposing Zionism
arab jewish unrest
Arab-Jewish Unrest
  • 1920 attacks
  • 1921 Cairo Conference
  • Churchill: “Zionism . . . good for the Arabs”
preamble of palestine mandate legal instrument 1922
Preamble of Palestine Mandate(Legal Instrument, 1922)

“Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them; and

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country;”

palestine mandate text
Palestine Mandate Text
  • “Jew/Jewish” mentioned 14 times
  • “Hebrew” mentioned three times
  • “Arabic” mentioned three times
  • “Non-Jewish” mentioned once
  • “Arab/Arabs” mentioned

zero times

world war i legacy
World War I Legacy
  • Arabs concerns, Jewish optimism as Palestine Mandate entered 1920s
  • Emerging pattern of Arab-Jewish violence